Tick, tock, test your smoke alarm

Smoke alarm.
Smoke alarm.

Northumberland residents are being reminded to test their smoke alarm when the clocks go forward this weekend.

The clocks go forward one hour tomorrow at 1am and Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service is seizing the opportunity to remind people to test their smoke alarms are working.

Smoke, the silent killer, is responsible for more than half of all deaths in accidental fires in the home. Shockingly, in the majority of fatal house fires, smoke alarms were either absent or did not go off – and a common cause was missing or flat batteries.

A simple push of the test button and you can test both the power supply and the detection mechanism; it should be carried out as a vital part of any household routine.

A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999. But just half of all householders who own a smoke alarm say they don’t test that it is working on a regular basis. Research has found people are more than four times as likely to die in a fire without a working smoke alarm, but only half of people who own an alarm say they take the time to check it regularly.

Residents can keep themselves and their loved ones safe by following these simple steps: Make sure you fit a smoke alarm on every level of your home and test them regularly; make testing your smoke alarm part of your household routine (by pressing the button, change your battery once per year or invest in a ten-year alarm and clean the alarm casing twice per year to ensure dust doesn’t block the sensor; whatever happens, never remove the battery in your smoke alarm; make sure that everyone in your home knows what to do if a fire should be present and practise you escape route.